Saturday, 10 October 2015

State of my Birding: Third Quarter 2015

Alpine Swift my bird of the quarter
The third quarter was very dry. With the continued low rainfall the island was experiencing it was no surprise that most of the wet areas were now dry.  This did not stop the birds from coming however, and during this quarter we had some exciting birds.  With the invasion of our beaches by the Sargassum seaweed, they are teeming with small crustacean, fish eggs and small insects, it was a buffet for the shorebirds.  

July

Roseate Terns
In July I registered forty-seven species.  With the southern migration just beginning I was not expecting any surprises but a surprise was what I got.  On the afternoon of July 13th I recorded an Alpine Swift (Tachymarptis melba).  This was only the fourth ever confirmed sighting with the first one being in 1955 (The Birds of Barbados an annotated checklist pg167) and it was also my 120th lifer.  I registered two other year birds, Roseate Terns at Inch Marlow and Whimbrels at Chancery Lane.  At the end of the month my checklist stood at seventy-seven species.

August

August was like “spinning a top in mud”.  In that month I recorded over 50 on the month’s checklists and only added one species to my year list.  While I was not productive in the sense of increasing my list I was able to see fifty seven species during that month.  The single new bird for August was the White-Rumped Sandpiper which was seen at Inch Marlow, Christ Church. 

September

Striated Heron
September was the complete opposite of August.  I registered thirty-seven species from just eight checklists but added twelve new species for the year including one lifer.  The month started off with a low key World Shorebirds Day (see here).  By the first half of the month I had already surpassed my highest September Count with seven year birds.  This included my 121st lifer a Fork-tailed Flycatcher seen at Harrisons Point (see here).  The second half of the month was just as exciting with five more new sightings including the 2nd recorded Striated Heron for the island.  It was truly a month of rarities.   

Caribbean Martins
It was a dry quarter but it added sixteen species, including two lifers, to my year list.  I missed three birds in that quarter a Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Purple-throated Carib and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron.  There were a number of species which were seen in large numbers.  Barn Swallows and Caribbean Martins were seen all over the island. The last quarter of the year promises more birds with Harrisons Point in October and the rarities of November, if all goes to plan, I am hoping to go pass the 100 mark before the middle of December. So here is to the last quarter.